Saturday, 31 December 2016

BEAUTY | Get Ready With Me, Party Edition

Boux Avenue Eddie Teddy Cape

I can't, I won't, believe that it is January tomorrow. 

This post was supposed to be up like well over a week ago, to fit into the 'party season' but ummmmmm life?! Instead, I've had a wonderful Christmas break, and I'm feeling so much more motivated to get up and GO. 

Also, who says we can't party at ALL times of year? Because we definitely can. 

A birthday coming up? PARTY

A friend getting married? PARTY

Getting a promotion? PARTY

Simply because it's a Friday night? PARTY 

I think I actually prefer the 'getting ready' time instead of the ACTUAL party, like a lot of people I love getting dressed up, and it's nice to feel 'pretty' instead of mooching around the house in my lazy wear.  

Boux Avenue Eddie Teddy Cape
Boux Avenue Evelyn Knit Mules

I'm quite messy, so getting changed into my outfit for the night is the LAST thing I do. You just know that I am going to spill something down myself! I like to get SUPER cosy whilst I get ready, although, it usually makes me not want to leave the house at all! Jeans digging into my belly? No thank you. The Boux Avenue Eddie Teddy Cape* (£40.00) is my current absolute OBSESSION. I have it in medium/large so it is nicely oversized, and unbelievably soft and comfortable. Also, just look at the hood. I pair this with my Boux Avenue Evelyn Knit Mules* (£16.00) because you gotta' keep those tootsies warm, it is very chilly at the moment!

Funkin Cocktails

I don't know about you. But I like to have a drink nearby when I get ready for a party. Yes, an alcoholic one. I find it improves my make-up applying techniques, especially eye-liner because let me tell you, I am FLIPPING awful at applying it, and no you are not having a photo of me doing it. Funkin' Cocktails* are the EASY way to make drinks, with lots of yummy flavours.

Now we have a drink in hand, LET'S GET READY, SHALL WE? 

Make Up Flat Lay
Get Ready With Me

I begin by prepping my skin, with the Soap & Glory, One Heck of a Blot Primer (£10.00) To be honest, I am still not entirely sure what a primer does to my skin. I have what you call 'normal' skin, BUT WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN. I'm not dry, nor am I oily, so I don't really notice primer making much of a difference for the longevity of my make-up, but the big boys say you should use it. So I do. 

I then go in with the concealer, pretty much all over my face, because clearly, I am not a make-up artist. PLEASE JUST GIVE ME FLAWLESS SKIN. I'm not claiming to even be a LITTLE bit good at doing make-up, I have honestly no clue what I am doing. I just do the techniques the way I like to, why do people get so bitchy on the internet about 'how' people do their make-up, if YOU'RE happy with the end finish, why should it matter what anyone else thinks? I am absolutely LOVING the Urban Decay Naked Concealer* (£17.50) It's a really thick consistency making it a super high coverage concealer, however still really blend-able. I have the lightest possible shade and find it really makes my eyes POP. Also, I am using the Crown Brush C436 Mini Duo Fibre Blender* and it is one of my favourite brushes EVER and a bargain! A randomly priced bargain at that though... WHY £7.94

Get Ready With Me

I'd like to give an award to ANYONE who can apply make-up without pulling funny faces. Since I slathered so much concealer all over my face I felt I didn't need a foundation THIS time, but I usually use the MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW13 (£22.00) It is a really great matte foundation, with a wide range of colours - including pale shades! I fixed my base with the Soap & Glory, One Heck of a Blot Powder (£12.00) I don't really have a lot to say about it, it's a powder. It works. 

For me, 2016 was the year of the HIGHLIGHT. I don't know why I use a matte foundation to then cover my face in highlight, but I do. Ahhh, you're beginning to realise what I meant when I said I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM DOING. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Luminizer (£17.50) is the DREAM champagne shimmery highlight shade. I pop it on my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, my cupids bow, above my eyebrows, basically all over my face, what can I say, I want to be a glitter ball in my next life. I usually use it for an eyeshadow too, because lazy. 

My holy grail blush is NARS Orgasm (£23.00) because it simply gives you a gorgeous glowing flush.... kinda like an... you get it. The pan itself looks quite shimmery, but it doesn't show glittery on the skin, it just makes you look really happy and healthy. One of my best purchases of 2016, by far. 

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

It's EYE TIME. When I think of parties... I think of SMOKY EYES. This of course meant, it was time to get out the beloved Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette (£38.50) I fully intended to *attempt* a wonderfully smoky eye. But how the flip do you do it? 

I literally have no idea. 

Get Ready With Me

In the end, I applied 'High' all over my lids, and tried to use 'Slanted' in my crease, but that failed and made me look like I had been punched, so I gave up. I used 'Armor' to define my eye shape under my waterline. It turns out, the minimal eyeshadow worked out for the best, because I only just remembered that my dress of choice is rather snazzy and needed a less 'in your face' look. 

Get Ready With Me

Let's completely ignore my pathetic excuse of winged liner, because quite frankly it is awful. I believe I evened it out later on. This lip colour is one of my FAVOURITES and is one that people always ask about. It surprises people when I say it is from the Tanya Burr Cosmetics range - an absolute bargain! I chose the shade Martha Moo (£5.99) and although it says on Feel Unique it is a lip gloss, it is definitely not! It is more of a liquid matte, and I love it. 

ONTO BROWS. Benefit Ka-Brow* (£18.50) is the first time I have used a 'dip style' brow product, rather than a pencil, I thought it was going to be really hard to use, but if I can do it, you can sure do it too. This product is flippin' amazing, long lasting, great shade range, and fills your brows out really naturally. Mascara of choice, as always is Benefit's Roller Lash (£19.50) I just can't seem to find any mascara that curves and lengthens my lashes like this one, even though I know a lot of people don't get on with it. It can clump rather easily, so it is best to just stick to minimal coats.

Boux Avenue Bra Solutions

My outfit of choice is this lovely Warehouse Sequin Flappy Dress (SALE: £25.00) I paid full price, you jammies. I usually think of sequin outfits as EW ITCHY EW but the lining of this dress is a dream, it is SO soft and the dress itself is a really nice fit. I'd buy a size smaller than you usually would, for this one, simply because I felt it was rather big when I tried it on in my usual size, and hey, doesn't that make you feel good too! 

Because of the unique 'cut out' detailing at the top of the dress, I was umming and ahhing what to do with the boobies. Not so much an inconvenience to go braless, but I also didn't want my straps to be on show TOO much. This is where Boux Avenue save the day. They have a wide range of solutions for all your dress woes. 

Low V-Neck dress? Worried about a nip slip? Use the secret tape*

Worried that it might get a bit 'nippy'? Use the petals

For this particular dress, I used the strapless bra* along with the clear straps, with my boob size being 36D, I find I prefer the extra support with the straps, but it is totally up to you. I only tend to use a fully strapless bra, if I am wearing a strapless outfit. 


Get Ready With Me
Get Ready With Me

A squirt of perfume, and I'm ready to go party the night away! I've recently had my hair CHOPPED by the lovely Kersha from BB's Hair Design in Barnsley. I've never had a hairdresser spend so much time and attention on making sure my cut was perfect. I usually feel like hairdressers want to get you in and out, especially when you are just getting a cut and blow dry - but she really took her time, and I love my new hair. 

Hope you all have a Happy New Year, and I will see you NEXT YEAR on Very Berry Cosmo, let's make 2017 a good one! Don't forget to use 'BERRY20' for 20% off all full price Boux Avenue items!

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*this post contains affiliate links, and is in collaboration with Boux Avenue, however all views are my own*

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

LIFESTYLE | Obsessive 'C' Disorder

Obsessive Christmas Disorder

Another day, another chance to correct mental health misconceptions. 

If you're a regular reader or follower of Very Berry Cosmo, I'm sure you probably know what OCD stands for. If you aren't sure what it stands for - that's okay! A simple Google search is all it takes. The first three results clearly come back with something called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Okay, brilliant. Google isn't misinforming the nation. So why am I STILL seeing ridiculous versions of OCD. It's like people seem to think that they can chuck any word beginning with C and call it an obsessive disorder. Literally, ANY WORD.

For all them cat ladies - Obsessive Cats Disorder

For all them make-up hoarders - Obsessive Cosmetics Disorder

For people who can't stop eating cheese - Obsessive Cheese Disorder

For those who just can't stop pedaling - Obsessive Cycling Disorder

& the one that inspired me to write today's post.....

Obsessive Christmas Disorder

Obsessive Christmas Disorder 

I love cats, cosmetics, cheese, cycling and Christmas just as much as the next person does. But why does a serious illness need to be included in this? People are like oh it's just banter. Well, sorry to be blunt, but it wouldn't be banter if cancer was involved. It's just not funny. 

I've been seeing a certain Telegraph article sweeping around social media, and thankfully a lot of people are calling it out. With the headline 'I have Obsessive Christmas Disorder - and it's the greatest gift of all' - I haven't read all of the article because I refuse to register, to read that tripe, but the title says it all really. 

So you LIKE Christmas? So you're really ORGANISED this Christmas? So you're PARTICULAR about your tree decorations? Those qualities are not a serious illness. Don't mock it. 

I find I have to explain to a lot of people that just because you REALLY REALLY REALLY like something, it doesn't mean you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You simply just really like something, and most likely have an addictive personality. Flippin eck' I wish my serious, 
debilitating illness caused me that much JOY! 

Obsessive Christmas Disorder

"I am so OCD about this"

The term 'I am so OCD about this' gets used a little bit too loosely, likewise with 'I am so depressed' and I've been seeing it used a lot this festive period. I completely understand why people say it. If I remember correctly, I very much used to say it myself. I accept that people need to be educated about it, but I will not tolerate ignorance. 

I am not going to tell people off for saying it, nor am I going to tell anyone what to say. But I am just going to give you a little bit of information to think about, and I do hope you will consider not using the term in the wrong context in the future.

It doesn't offend me when people say it, but I do always sit there like realllyyyyy, are you actually so OCD though? I find it more uncomfortable than anything, particularly when I am in a group of people and someone says it. More often than not, SOMEONE within the group knows my feelings about using OCD like an adjective, and I can FEEL them looking at me, to see my reaction. 

Obsessive Christmas Disorder

'I'm a bit OCD about my Christmas tree, I can't let my husband put the tree up, I have to do it, because he doesn't do it right. I can't have two of the same bauble next to each other, because it looks silly' = NOT OCD 

'OMG I love Christmas SO SO SO SO MUCH. I'm so ahead of schedule this year! I wrote all my Christmas cards well over a month ago, and I had all my presents ready earlier this year, in August. I LIVE for Christmas and prepare for it all year! It is the happiest time of year, and I am a little bit OCD about getting it all perfect' = NOT OCD

'I HATE putting up the Christmas tree. It makes me feel extremely anxious. My OCD ruins this time of year for me. Shall I put the star on top of the tree this year, or the angel? If you put the star on the tree your parents will become seriously ill in 2017, they could die. It would be all your fault. Best go for the angel then... except I can't find it... WHERE IS IT. WHERE IS IT. My parents are going to die. They are going to die. It will be all my fault. Okay... breathe, breathe, breathe, it's okay, I will just go without. 

OH no wait, didn't Aunt Betty once say that it is really unlucky to not have anything on the top of your Christmas tree? Oh drat, I can't remember. Must check. Must check. What do I do?' = THIS IS OCD

'Okay. You are not going to let your nasty OCD take over your mind today. You are going to have a wonderful time, with all of your family. You haven't seen some of them in ages! You just have to get through preparing and cooking the dinner. YOU HAVE GOT THIS. Did you just put bleach in the cranberry sauce? Are you trying to poison people? Must make it again to be sure. Pay REAL attention this time' = THIS IS OCD

Can you see the difference? The misconception that people think that we ENJOY our compulsions. If you enjoy acting out your particular rituals - you do not have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is pure terror. 
You don't know whether you can trust your own mind. It isn't about a bauble not looking 'right'. 

Apologies if this seemed like a really angry rant, but I am rather passionate about this subject! 'I am so OCD about this' gets used so much that when I finally brave and share my thoughts and tell people that I suffer with the condition, they are like 'oh so you are really tidy then and like things in order' NO. I could quite literally face palm myself when people say this to me. 

I hope you learnt something new, and please share this post on social mediaI would love to spread lots of OCD awareness - It is a truly horrible thing to suffer with, and I wouldn't wish the condition on my worst enemy. At all. 

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

LIFESTYLE | HP Is Here, To Let Your Memories Live Forever

HP Sprocket Inkless Printer
This is a paid for advertorial by HP

A photograph can take you back in time, letting your memories live forever.

I often find myself flicking back through my old photos on Facebook, reminiscing on certain times in my life. I love that it's almost like stepping INSIDE the photograph, and being in that moment again. This process can either make me really happy, or really sad. Friendships may have fizzled out, relationships may have ended, family members may have passed, but I personally feel sometimes, it is nice to look back and think, I was really happy there. 

(Sometimes is underlined because we all have that pain in the arse ex, the face we never ever ever ever want to see again. Those photos were totally chucked on a fire like years ago)

I'm trying to live my life in the present more and more, each and everyday, and not dwell too much on the past, or even the 'unknown' future. Thinking about the past and future, is where I'd say I struggle with my OCD diagnosis the most. When I think of the past, I look back and I can't help but think, WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?! I never used to constantly worry about dying or catching illnesses, why and where did this change? Why can't I be as happy and care-free as I was in that photograph again? 

HP Sprocket Inkless Printer

However, saying all that, I think documenting your past is a really important process in life. Seeing how you change and develop as a person. In the movies, girl brings boy back to her place, family gets the baby albums out, yes it's mega cringe, and yes they try and make it as awkward as they can. But I'd be very sad if my dad HADN'T documented that time of my life. I find it really interesting to see what I looked like back then, after all I can't remember it! Same goes for when I'm older, I know I will want to look back on my twenties, show the grandkids and all that. 

Now, let's talk about the MUST-have gadget for this, the HP Sprocket*

Yes, it's rose-gold and white, blogger heaven, I know. Yes it is beautiful, stylish and compact. But aesthetics aside, this little gadget is INKless and absolutely flipping amazing - my current addiction. I've always been drawn to Polaroid cameras, I love the INSTANT feel of them. You can take a photo and seconds later it will be in your hand, to keep. You can pop it in a scrapbook, on your wall or on your fridge. No more going into Boots to have your photos developed, or logging onto photo printing websites and having to wait a few days, INSTANT PRINTS.

Have any of you ever used a Polaroid camera and tried to group-selfie with it? DISASTER. 
Beth's thumb is in front of the lens, Emma's blinking, poor Amy, bless her' isn't in the shot at all. 

This doesn't happen when you use the HP Sprocket.

HP Sprocket Inkless Printer

It is like having a Polaroid camera, except you get to CHOOSE which photos you would like to print, directly through the App. No more dodgy selfie shots! This means you can be 100% happy with what comes out, no wasting paper! The printer connects to your device through a Bluetooth connection. It prints photos from Instagram, Facebook, Flickr or simply your camera roll. It is quick, hassle free, and I get rather excited each time a new photo comes out!

Did you say it was INKLESS?

Yes, you heard me correctly. You don't need ink cartridges, which I think is BRILLIANT, because I hate buying ink. 1) It is SO expensive. 2) You always run out of a certain colour first, never all at the same time, and it is just a FAFF. 3) You begin to restrict your creativity... OH NO THAT PHOTO HAS LOADS OF BLUE IN THE BACKGROUND. Can't print that, it will take up all the blue ink!

Don't ask me how it works, some magical unicorn behind the scenes work I'm sure. But no, seriously, it's to do with the 'ZINK' Zero Ink technology, so in basic terms, the paper is magical. To use this device all you need to do is pay for the paper, and for £10 you get 20 sheets, making it 50p a print, which I personally think is rather decent! (the paper has a sticky back too for even further ease)

Is the print quality any good?

This is the question that most people seem to ask me, which is totally understandable because after all, that is what you are paying for. Firstly, I will let you answer that yourself with the photos shown below.  They are Jordan's and all taken on his SLR.

HP Sprocket Inkless Printer

With all printing facilities, the quality of the print is dependant on the quality of the photograph itself. I can easily tell the difference between prints from my Olympus Pen, and my iPhone 6. In some cases I even used images using my Instagram stories, FORWARD FACING CAMERA in the dark, which is terrible quality, but still printed out rather well. It all depends on the images YOU are using.

In some cases I find that the darker photos don't turn out as good as the bright ones, but in some cases they work better. To be honest it is all about trial and error in the beginning. I'm still learning which photos turn out better than others, and then editing my future photos accordingly to suit the printers abilities. You soon pick this up.

The photographs themselves are only 2 by 3 inches, perfect for scrapbooking. They are rather small and I feel that the printing quality is MORE than enough for them. I am seriously very impressed with it. 

How did you add the frames, and text to the image? 

Through the app of course! The app you use to print the photos has all sorts of different features to play around with. The editor features filters, similarly to apps such as Instagram and VSCO, I personally like playing around with the black and white ones. 

HP Sprocket Inkless Printer

IT'S TIME TO GET CREATIVE. You can add text, stickers, and frames to your photos and make them your own. There are all sorts of frames, FUN AND FUNKY ONES including Santa - where you end up inside his BEARD, which I just think is hilarious. There are crazy colourful ones and more rustic wooden ones, plus the standard white border, which I happen to LOVE. There is something for everyone.

HP Sprocket Inkless Printer

The stickers are also super cute, and can totally change your images. You want to wear a tiara? YOU PUT THAT TIARA STICKER ON YOUR HEAD GIRL. I personally love the Christmassy ones, and the cat ears, it is very fun. 

HP Sprocket Inkless Printer

Hope you enjoyed this post lovelies! I bet you're now lusting after this amazing little gadget aren't you? If you have super organised family and friends, it might be a little bit too late to subtly *hint* that you would like one for Christmas, but it worth a try! Play on the fact that it will benefit THEM too. Because it does, Jordan flipping loves the Sprocket and is already creating a scrapbook of all his favourite photographs. If you are receiving money as a gift this year, I would certainly recommend this as an investment. I hear people using them for keepsakes at weddings, big family get togethers and drunken parties. Whatever the occasion, it's a fun product that everyone is sure to love. 

Learn more about the Sprocket over on the HP Store here. Happy Memory Building!

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*This post is sponsored by HP, however all thoughts and opinions are my own*
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